FA VASE: Loxwood look to make history and Steyning set on good showing

Steyning FC V Horsham FC in the FA Vase - Steyning score in the dying minutes of Extra time to secure a memorable victory against Horsham (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150211-095531008
Steyning FC V Horsham FC in the FA Vase - Steyning score in the dying minutes of Extra time to secure a memorable victory against Horsham (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150211-095531008

Loxwood and Steyning Town will fly the district flag as they bid to make the third round of the prestigious FA Vase.

The two Southern Combination League sides are just six wins away from a dream final at Wembley and are on the road in the competition on Saturday.

Their second-round clashes see The Magpies take flight to Colliers Wood United and The Barrowmen travel to Ashford United - both with £1,000 prize money at stake.

Loxwood take on the mid-table West Wimbledon-based Combined Counties League Premier Division side and manager Mark Beard is hoping to galvanize his team’s spirit to help them make history.

He said: “We are going to a hotel pre-match for a meal and then taking them up by minibus, so it’s all a bit different for the lads, but I think they deserve it.

“We do not want to make it too much of a difference as you do want some things to be normal, but hopefully by the time we get to the game at 3pm the mental spirit will be flying.

“We can’t wait. It is a chance for the lads to showcase themselves against a team from another division. I know the club as a whole and their manager, but the team itself I do not know too much about.”

The Magpies were knocked out away at Newport in a controversial 3-2 defeat at the same stage last year and Beard added: “It’s an opportunity to create history as they have never got past this round.

“That would be a nice thing to do and we go into it with a fully fit squad as well which is good for us.

“In cup games it all goes out of the window and it’s about on the day. If we are anywhere near where we can be, hopefully we can get the result we want, but in these cup games anything can happen.”

Steyning boss Alan Skipper hopes his team will pitch up in good preparation for their clash at the Southern Counties East League Premier Division side, who reportedly have off-the-field money issues.

Town have trained on Worthing’s new 3G pitch this week to get a feel for the surface that is in place at the Homelands Stadium. Skipper said: “We most certainly are looking forward to the game as you can imagine, not just the playing squad but the club as a whole.

“The club’s committee has again been working tirelessly to ensure we are prepared as professionally as possible for a club of our size.

Town head into the game in having beaten Horsham in the last round and also claimed the scalp of Hassocks in the Sussex Senior Cup last week, while their match at Ringmer was postponed on Saturday.

Skipper added: “I believe if our players turn up on the day in the right frame of mind and put in the right performance then we will most certainly give Ashford a tough game.

“We are under no illusions what a tough test it will be for us but with the squad we have and the belief I have in them, we will certainly give a good account of ourselves.”

“Going into the game we have a strong squad available for selection.”

Town have also had the Kent side watched and Skipper added: “We want to ensure that we are prepared as professionally as we can. Knowing something about your opponents could be the small difference that is needed.”

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1 Make this website your homepage

2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex

3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex

4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!